A ‘One Community’ Agenda

How We Can Create Great Places for Our Military to Live, Train and Defend our Nation

Major challenges at home and around the world remind us that the fence line surrounding our military bases does not matter when tackling many of the big issues facing our military, service members and their families. It is only when communities and the military are working as one, that we make a difference – this is the One Community Policy Agenda. The Association of Defense Communities believes the components of its One Community agenda will foster a new level of military-community collaboration that can tackle four key issues facing our nation and national defense:

Improve Military Family Quality of Life for Our Service Members and  Families in Collaboration with Communities

Service members and military families deserve to live in communities that provide high-quality services, including schools, housing, social services and childcare. We must support communities and military families by:

  • Establishing clear and equitable community and installation expectations for measuring quality of life and resources to address these challenges.
  • Promoting joint military-community efforts to ensure military families have access to high-quality schools, childcare, healthcare, affordable housing, and special needs programs.
  • Identifying and promoting innovative efforts and resources to make service members feel welcomed and valued in every community that becomes their military home.

Invest in the People Who Make Our Military Work

The people who support our installations, which are essential to our nation’s defense, are more important than ever. We support everyone from the cyber expert and ship builder to the primary school student who will become a future member of the military or workforce. We need to invest in our current and future defense workforce by:

  • Working collaboratively at the local and national level to understand and plan for the evolving expectations and capabilities of the defense sector workforce
  • Promoting military, community and industry efforts to develop training and education programs in K-12 schools (e.g., DODEA grant programs, STARBASE, Cyber Patriot, FIRST Robotics and other STEM programs)
  • Investing in defense workforce development initiatives that ensure we have a skilled workforce for the future (e.g., the Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment (IBAS), Defense Manufacturing Communities Support Program and other DoD programs)
  • Leveraging community and state resources to support military spouse hiring and training initiatives and DoD’s overall recruitment needs.

Invest in Infrastructure and Programs that Support Missions and Families

Our military and our families rely on a complex network of roads, buildings, facilities, utilities, and land – both on and off base – to support critical training, power-projection platforms and the everyday needs of our families. We need to prioritize investment in our nation’s defense infrastructure by:

  • Maintaining funding and making permanent the authority for the Defense Community Infrastructure Program (DCIP) and ensure the program has sufficient flexibility to address the dynamic needs of defense communities.
  • Promoting sustained investment in our installations through a stable, robust military construction program that replenishes any redirected funds.
  • Enhancing the value of public-public (P4) and public-private partnerships (P3) to maximize a full range of tools that leverage resources to improve the efficiency and resilience of defense infrastructure.
  • Prioritizing DoD’s focus on infrastructure and resilience appointing a new Assistant Secretary of Defense for Installations, Energy & Environment.
  • Strengthening the ongoing collaboration between military and community by supporting and enhancing the role of the DoD Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation

Advance Climate Resilience for Installations and Communities through  Collaboration

Sea level rise, extreme weather events and other climate-related issues are having real impacts on our installations, defense communities and national security. Responding to this threat must be coordinated across the fence line, regionally and nationally by:

  • Creating a coordination point within the Office of the Secretary of Defense to connect DoD, the services, and communities on climate change issues, ideally through OLDCC.
  • Continuing funding and support for the Military Installation Sustainability (MIS) program.
  • Embracing programs, including DCIP, that support joint installation-community climate resilience planning and infrastructure projects.
  • Developing program benchmarks that are clear, quantifiable, and objective, and provide a baseline measurement of DCIP and MIS program performance.

The Defense Community Support Program

Supporting community-based programs that enhance military quality of life

Building on the successful models used to connect resources between DOD and communities, Congress is currently considering legislation that would establish the Defense Communities Support Program, a new authority for DOD to provide matching funds to support local and state led efforts to focused on critical issues like childcare, education, military spouse and veteran skills training and employment, food insecurity, housing, and health care.

The program would be open to states, counties, municipalities and regional entities. Funds would cover operations expenses such as personnel, equipment, organizational and workforce development, licensing, regulatory fees, research, outreach, training, program development, and educational and marketing materials. This program would not support physical infrastructure or facility maintenance.

To help show our support of this exciting new legislation, ADC is looking to collect examples of local and/or state led quality of life efforts that could benefit from a program like this.  

How Can You Help?

Please fill out the form below and identify current quality of life or workforce development projects in your community that are, in at least some part, funded (or could be funded) by a local or state affiliated organization (City, State, County, Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Agency, etc.). Another option is to identify a potential project that your community and/or state is considering supporting that could be enhanced if there was a matching DOD grant available.

Defense Communities Caucus

Defined by a mission of force and family, readiness and resiliency, our installations and communities are the foundation of our military’s competitive edge. The strength of our bases and communities are forever linked through a dynamic and ever evolving partnership. The Defense Communities Caucus, a bipartisan group of lawmakers, provides a unified voice for that evolving partnership, and works to ensure that defense communities and military installations have the support they need to serve the ones who protect us.

Senate Caucus Co-Chairs

  • Jerry Moran (R-KS)
  • Gary Peters (D-MI)

House Caucus Co-Chairs

  • Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
  • Doug Lamborn (CO-05)

    Federal Outreach and Advisory Council

    Brittany Smart
    Fairbanks North Star Borough, AK

    Mike Ward
    Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce, AL

    Daniel Mann
    Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority, AR

    Ryan Lee
    City of Glendale, AZ

    Sandy Person
    Solano EDC/ Travis Community Consortium, CA

    Fred Muerer
    Monterey Bay Defense Alliance, CA

    Keith Klaehn
    Defense Mission Task Force, CO

    Daniel Rhoades
    21st Century Partnership, GA

    Vera Topasna
    Office of the Governor of Guam, GU

    Kimberly Huth
    St. Clair County, IL

    Jill McClune
    Army Alliance, MD

    Jamie Miller
    Mississippi Development Authority, MS

    Greg Doyon
    Montana Defense Alliance/ City of Great Falls, MT

    Patricia Harris
    North Carolina Military Affairs Commission, NC

    Tom Ford
    Grand Forks County, ND

    Brian Dicken
    Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce, OH

    Michael Gessel
    Dayton Development Coalition, OH

    Joseph Garrity
    Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission

    Mike Cooper
    State of Oklahoma, OK

    Keith Sledd
    Heart of Texas Defense Alliance, TX

    Diane Rath
    Alamo Area Council of Governments, TX

    Glenn Barham
    Sheppard Military Affairs Committee, TX

    Brian Garrett
    Utah Department of Veterans and Military Affairs, UT

    Mark Shepherd
    Clearfield City, UT

    Stacie Henn
    Prince William County, Dept of Economic Development, VA

    Rick Dwyer
    Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities Alliance, VA

    Don Anderson
    City of Lakewood, WA

    Alex Brickner
    SBIR Programs, UMass Lowell Research Institute

    John Simmons (COUNCIL ADVISOR)
    The Roosevelt Group

    George Schlossberg (GENERAL COUNSEL)
    ADC General Counsel
    Partners, Kutak Rock LLP